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Ribes malvaceum, called chaparral currant, is a member of the Grossulariaceae (gooseberry family). It is native to California and northern Baja California, where it occurs below 1500 m in chaparral, foothill oak woodland, and closed-cone pine forest.

Less than 2 meters tall, this perennial shrub lacks the characteristic nodal spines which are demonstrated on the stems of many other members in the genus Ribes. The leaf blades (20-50 mm) are densely hairy, glandular, and double toothed.

Infloresences are 10-25 flowered and open. The hypanthium (5-8 mm) is pink and about twice as long as it is wide. The sepals are pink-purple in color and are 4-6 mm. Petals are 2-3 mm and can range in color from pink-white. The flower also contains two fused styles which are fused to the tip and have a hairy base. A purple glaucous fruit (6-7 mm) is produced which is glandular and is covered by white hairs.

There are two varieties of R. malvaceum:

  • var. malvaceum
  • var. viridifolium


Ribes malvaceum is used in native plant landscapes and as bird feeding and habitat gardens. It thrives under oaks in bright dry conditions, and in other locations.

Written on June 21st, 2012 , Forestry Tags:

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    05 July 2012 at 04:12

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